Current affair of 25th July 2019.

1. POCSO (Amendment) Bill, 2019 with provision of death penalty passed by Rajya Sabha

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been passed by Rajya Sabha. The bill seeks to enhance punishment, including a provision for death penalty, for committing sexual crimes against children. Replying to the debate on the Bill, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said government has sanctioned 1023 fast track courts for speedy dispensation of pending cases under POCSO and sexual assault.

2. Piyush Goyal reviews preparations of India’s Participation in Dubai World Expo 2020

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, PiyushGoyal,reviewed the preparations underway by the Department of Commerce and other stakeholders for the construction of the India Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo 2020 which will take place for six months beginning 20th October 2020 up to 10th April 2021. The meeting was held last night in New Delhi where officials of the Department of Commerce, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd. (NBCC) and other stakeholders were present.

3. Inter-State River Water disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 introduced in LS seeks to amend the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956

The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to amend the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 to streamline the adjudication of inter-State river water disputes. A Bill to help adjudicate disputes relating to waters of inter-State rivers and river valleys at a faster pace was introduced in Lok Sabha on Thursday amid protests by opposition parties which said States were not consulted. Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said the States were consulted in 2013 and a similar Bill was brought to Lok Sabha in 2017.

4. Amit Shah to chair panel on sexual harassment at workplace

Home Minister Amit Shah will chair a panel of four cabinet ministers to examine ways to prevent workplace sexual harassment, a ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, as activists criticised the official response to the #MeToo movement. The movement triggered a public outcry in traditionally conservative India, with former junior Foreign Minister MJ Akbar and Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi among dozens of high-profile men accused of sexual misconduct. The new panel, which includes Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, was set up last week, a home ministry official told Reuters.

5. British Council of India and The Universities UK International (UUKi) launched UKIERI mobility program

The British Council of India and Universities UK International have joined hands together for the launch of UKIERI Mobility Programme: Study in India. It will be a bilateral pilot programme which will support UK universities to collaborate with Indian partners to send UK students to India as part of their studies. The UKIERI Mobility Programme: Study in India will open on July 2019 with an aim to generate 200 opportunities for undergraduate students at UK universities by March 2021, with priority given to students from traditionally underrepresented groups.

6. New Vande Bharat express completes Delhi-Katra trial run

Indian Railways’ Northern Railway zone has successfully conducted the Confirmatory Oscillograph Car Runs (COCR) trial of the new Vande Bharat Express (Train 18) on the Delhi-Katra route. The trial run was carried out on July 22, that is yesterday, and the Vande Bharat Express will be back in New Delhi today, a Northern Railway official told Financial Express Online. As per the schedule, the Train 18 started its journey from New Delhi railway station at 6:00 AM. On its way to Katra, the train was scheduled for two-minute halts at Ambala Cantonment station at 8:10 AM, Ludhiana station at 9:19 AM and Jammu Tawi station at 12.38 PM, before reaching Katra railway station at 2:00 PM, the same day.

7. Gujarat tops in solar rooftop installations in India

Gujarat ranks on top in the installation of rooftop solar projects with an installed capacity of 261.97 megawatts, Minister of State for New and Renewable Energy and Power R K Singh said on Tuesday. Total rooftop solar installation in India currently stands at 1,700.54 MW. Gujarat is followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu with 198.52 MW and 151.62 MW respectively, said Singh while replying to a question raised by Member of Parliament Parimal Nathwani.

8. Deputy CM of Tripura, Jishnu Dev Varma announces projects worth Rs.1925 crore by ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has sanctioned a Rs 1,925 crore project for upgradation of power generation and distribution in Tripura, Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma said on Wednesday. The amount was recently sanctioned to the Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited (TSECL) after the state government had sought the ADB's assistance, Dev Varma who is also the power minister, told reporters here. "The project has been sanctioned for upgrading capacity of 63 MW Rokhia Project to 120 MW at an estimated cost of Rs 699.80 crore and modernising Gumti Hydro Electric Project at an estimated cost of Rs 1225.88 crore," he said.

9. Indians’ unaccounted wealth abroad is estimated at $216.48 billion- $490 billion between 1980 and 2010: Studies

Unaccounted wealth outside the country held by Indians was estimated in the range of $216.48 billion to $490 billion over various periods between 1980 and 2010, according to three separate studies conducted by three premier institutes -- NIPFP, NCAER and NIFM. The studies conducted by the three institutes have found that the sectors where unaccounted income is found to be the highest included real estate, mining, pharmaceuticals, pan masala, gutkha, tobacco, bullion, commodity, film, and education, said a report of the standing committee on finance tabled in the Lok Sabha Monday.

10. GDP growth to be at 6.8% in FY20: DBS

The economy will not be able to achieve the official forecast of 7 percent growth in FY20, making it a second consecutive year of sub-7 percent expansion, says a report. Singaporean lender DBS estimates FY20 growth to stay at 6.8 percent, the same as FY19. The economic survey earlier this month had pegged growth to rise to 7 percent. "FY20 growth is likely to be sub-7 percent for a second straight year," its economists led by Radhika Rao, said in a note Wednesday. The report said growth will "soften" in the first half of the fiscal and rise in the second half on base effect.

11. PayPal opens third Global Technology Centre in Hyderabad

American digital payments firm PayPal here on Tuesday announced expansion of its IndiA footprint with the launch of third global technology centre. Guru Bhat, Vice-President and Head of Engineering, PayPal India, said the Hyderabad facility would house around 100 engineers across roles, including risk management and operations, to provide cutting-edge digital payments solutions to customers around the world. PayPal's other centres are in Chennai and Bengaluru.

12. DCC imposes penalty of Rs.3050 crore on Airtel, Vodafone Idea on recommendations by TRAI

Digital Communications Commission's decision is a setback to Airtel and Voda Idea, already buried under a pile of debt and are facing losses. The penalty is for denying interconnection ports to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd when it started operations three years ago. DCC is a government panel comprising top officials from the telecom department, ministry of electronics and information technology, NITI Aayog and the department of economic affairs.

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